Tag Archive: trash

Let’s say you’ve sent a lot of files to the Trash and you would now like to empty it. You probably know that you can right-click on the Trash icon and choose “Empty Trash” but did you know…yep, you guessed it, there is a keyboard shortcut for that!

Empty the Trash with Finder in focus

This is a general keyboard tip for the Operating System. That is, it applies to the Finder and will have a different effect that the one described here if you use it while using an app, such as Chrome, for example.

fingers on the command, Shift,  and Delete keys

Empty the trash with CMD-Shift-Delete.

While in the Finder, or on the Desktop, which is technically a part of Finder, put your thumb on the key and while holding it down put your index finger on the key and while holding both those down, add you middle finger to the mix by tapping it on the delete key.

Empty the Trash = delete

A small message will pop up asking you are sure you want to permanently erase the items:


pop up confirmation message

Added Option: Permission to take out the Trash

You can bypass the need to confirm that you want to empty the Trash by adding the (option) key. It’s a bit of a handful, literally, but it is not too difficult as you can hold the key down at the same time as the key with your thumb.

Empty the trash without confirmation = delete




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You can always drag a file into the Trash, but there is a much faster and easier method of getting rid of unwanted files.

Send straight to Trash with Command-Delete

Instead of wrestling that file to the ground and dragging it into the Trash, kick that file straight into the bin using the delete combo! Just select the file by clicking on it with your mouse or using your shift and arrow keys, and then hold your right thumb on the key and tap the delete key.

Photo of hand on the keys Command and delete

Take out the Trash with Command-Delete

Command key or Apple key?

As you may have noticed in the image above, and in the previous post about selecting the URL, on some keyboards the key also has an Apple logo on it (my thumb is covering the ⌘ symbol in the photo above). To add some confusion, the Command key is sometimes referred to as the “Apple key”.

Trash files without getting your fingers dirty

The beauty of the delete combination is that, unlike the drag and drop method, you don’t have to go any where near the Trash. So if you prefer to keep your hands clean you can send unwanted files to the trash in one swift move with delete.

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